Keystone XL Pipeline Must Comply with Treaties and Tribal La

Published April 25, 2019

BOULDER, Colo.    On April 23, 2019, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community, represented by the Native American Rights Fund, filed an amended complaint against TransCanada and President Trump over the handling of the Keystone XL pipeline. In addition to extensive violations of law outlined in the original complaint, the new complaint raises the following issues:

Maps released by TransCanada show the pipeline corridor and access roads crossing Rosebud territory, some of which is held in trust, as well as Rosebud’s Mni Wiconi Water system. The 1868 Treaty of Ft. Laramie and other federal laws requires Rosebud consent to cross Rosebud territory. Rosebud has land use, environmental, and utilities codes that apply, and TransCanada must comply with Rosebud law on Rosebud land.

TransCanada agreed to abide by tribal law. Fort Belknap has a Cultural Property Act that applies to the pipeline. TransCanada failed to comply with Rosebud and Fort Belknap law.

New climate change information requires a new environmental impact analysis. Recent governmental reports contain new data about climate change, which necessitates new analysis.

The federal government violated the 1851 Treaty of Ft Laramie and 1855 Lame Bull Treaty, in which the US committed to protect against future harm to the tribes’ natural resources. The US did not adequately review the pipeline’s proposed route and whether it crosses tribal territory.

The federal government must examine potential impacts on the safety and welfare of Native people—especially women and children. An influx of itinerant workers, like those required for pipeline man-camps, correlates with increased sexual assaults, domestic violence, and sexual trafficking. The federal government has a treaty obligation to protect tribal citizens likely to suffer increased rates of violence and abuse.

#HonorTheTreaties

Read more about the ongoing fight to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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